How popular is the baby name Namath in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Namath.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Namath


Posts that Mention the Name Namath

Blogiversary: NBN’s sweet sixteen

birthday cake

Nancy’s Baby Names was launched on March 6, 2006. So today is the blog’s birthday.

In fact, it’s the blog’s sweet sixteen!

Happy birthday, NBN. :)

Image by diapicard from Pixabay

Interesting one-hit wonder names in the U.S. baby name data

tulips

They came, they went, and they never came back!

These baby names are one-hit wonders in the U.S. baby name data. That is, they’ve only popped up once, ever, in the entire dataset of U.S. baby names (which accounts for all names given to at least 5 U.S. babies per year since 1880).

There are thousands of one-hit wonders in the dataset, but the names below have interesting stories behind their single appearance, so these are the one-hits I’m writing specific posts about. Just click on a name to read more.

1890s

1900s

  • (none yet)

1910s

1920s

1930s

1940s

1950s

1960s

1970s

1980s

1990s

2000s

2010s

2020s

  • (none yet)

As I discover (and write about) more one-hit wonders in the data, I’ll add the names/links to this page. In the meanwhile, do you have any favorite one-hit wonder baby names?

P.S. You might also be interested in this list of the top one-hit wonder baby names since 1880

Where did the baby name Namath come from in 1978?

Joe Namath in the TV show "The Waverly Wonders" (1978).
Joe Namath

Quarterback Joe Namath played professional football from 1965 to 1977, mostly for the New York Jets. The Associated Press voted him AFL MVP twice: in 1968 and 1969.

But Namath didn’t pop up as a baby name in the U.S. data until 1978. And it dropped out of the data the very next year.

  • 1980: unlisted
  • 1979: unlisted
  • 1978: 5 baby boys named Namath [debut]
  • 1977: unlisted
  • 1976: unlisted

So what made “Namath” a one-hit wonder baby name long after Joe’s prime, and just after his playing career had ended?

Television!

Namath starred in a short-lived sitcom called The Waverly Wonders in 1978. His character was a retired pro-basketball player who now coached basketball at a fictional high school in Wisconsin. The show was heavily promoted by NBC, but ratings were poor, and only four episodes aired (three in September, one in October).

Joe’s family name, originally spelled Németh, is of Hungarian origin and means “German.”

Sources:

  • Joe Namath – Wikipedia
  • Hanks, Patrick. (Ed.) Dictionary of American Family Names. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.

P.S. Before going pro, Joe Namath played for the Alabama Crimson Tide football team from 1962 and 1964.